Oklahoma vs. Texas | Red River Rivalry Key Storylines

As we continue to march into the weekend, anticipation and excitement is reaching to a maximum in regards to the Sooners and Longhorns meeting up for the annual Red River Rivalry. Saturday will bring us the 119th addition of the heated rivalry between the Big 12’s two flagship programs. They each carry an undefeated record coming into the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 2011. Here are a few more interesting storylines to get us another day closer to Saturday.

  • Texas is the only Big 12 program with a winning record against the Sooners. Oklahoma trails 63-50-5 in the series but owns a 29-21-3 advantage since 1970. In the Big 12 era, OU is 17-11 against the Longhorns and has won 10 of the last 14 meetings (16 of the last 24).
  • Oklahoma has allowed a total of 14 points (one touchdown) after halftime this season (eight by SMU and three each by Tulsa and Cincinnati) and just 612 total yards, for an average of 122.4 yards per second half.
  • Dillon Gabriel ranks in the top 10 nationally in several categories. He ranks fourth in the country in passing touchdowns (15) and points responsible for per game (22.8), fifth in pass completion percentage (.752; for perspective the OU single-season record is .709 by Baker Mayfield in 2016), sixth in passing efficiency rating (189.4), seventh in total offense (337.6 ypg) and eighth in passing offense (318.6 ypg).
  • The Sooners are tied for the national lead with their 10 interceptions. That’s their most through the first five games of a season since 2001. Texas is tied for fifth nationally by throwing just one interception.
  • OU is one of two teams in the country that hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown (Iowa is the other). Texas is tied for third in the Big 12 with 11 rushing TDs and is averaging 191.8 rushing yards per contest.
  • After ranking 49th nationally last year in third-down conversion percentage (.405) and 87th in third-down conversion percentage defense (.409), the Sooners have converted 37 of their 67 third downs through four games, good for the nation’s sixth-best percentage (.552) out of 130 teams. And OU has allowed foes to convert just 21 of their 76 combined third-down tries.
  • After ranking 98th in scoring defense (30.0 ppg) and 121st in total defense (461.0 ypg) last year, the Sooners rank second (10.8 ppg) and 30th (318.0 ypg), respectively, this season. OU is tied for first nationally with its 10 interceptions and ranks seventh in pass efficiency defense rating (102.7), No. 8 in tackles for loss per game (8.4) and No. 20 in yards per play allowed (4.6).
  • The Sooners have allowed just 11 scores (five touchdowns and five field goals for 54 total points) on 61 possessions through five contests.
  • OU ranks fifth nationally with its +1.6 turnover margin per game. The Sooners have registered 12 takeaways to rank third in the country and have committed just four turnovers.
  • The Sooners rank in the top 10 nationally in a multitude of offensive categories through five games, including second in passing touchdowns (17), third in scoring offense (47.4 ppg), completion percentage (.762) and first downs per game (27.2), sixth in pass efficiency rating (192.5), third-down conversion percentage (.552) and fourth-down conversion percentage (.875), seventh in passing offense (352.4 ypg) and ninth in total offense (510.0 ypg). OU leads the Big 12 in each of those categories except total offense (ranks second).
  • Fourteen Sooners have scored at least one offensive touchdown this season, tied for the most nationally.
  • OU is the only team in the country to score at least 60 points twice this season.
  • The Sooners are tied for first nationally with their nine pass plays of at least 50 yards this season. They rank fourth with their 13.0 pass plays per game of at least 10 yards and fifth with their 5.6 pass plays per game of at least 20 yards.

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